Monday, November 09, 2009

Knitting for Writers

Patty here…

I have a soft spot in my heart for Eugene Barstok, a character in my Tucker Sinclair series. A better friend I could not imagine. He’s loyal to a fault even when it challenges his fragile psyche. Eugene grew up with a hypercritical mother and an overbearing father so he has his issues. At the urging of his therapist, he began knitting, hoping to achieve tranquility in his life.

As for me, I started knitting in my twenties and only recently picked up the needles again, knitting this pair of socks. I'm working on a sweater at the moment.

Almost every yarn shop in Los Angeles offers Stitch and Bitch sessions where women gather to talk trash and manipulate yarn, but I prefer the click click click of wooden needles in the silence of my own space. Like Eugene, counting rows and stitches is my meditation.

Before you dismiss knitting as a girly-girl pastime, check out these famous knitters.

Joan Crawford girly-girl? There's a coat hanger somewhere that screams no.

Madame Therese Defarge from A Tale of Two Cities, the 1859 novel by Charles Dickens. If you recall, she was the wife of a French wine shopkeeper who knitted as the heads of aristocrats rolled from the guillotine, stitching a new hit list with every slice of the blade. Not exactly a warm and fuzzy person.

If truth be told, men invented knitting. Who do you think made all those fishing nets?

Here are a couple of guys who knit.

President Franklin Roosevelt with wife Eleanor

Rosey Grier, former football player for Penn State and the L.A. Rams

And—NEWS FLASH! Men still knit.

For me, knitting is something creative to do when I’m not writing. And it’s fun. The holidays are almost here and I’ve been thinking about gifts I could made for my fellow Nakeds.

For Our J, a teacup cozy.

Or blankets for Sara and Oliver.

For Paulie, a wine bottle cover for that special dinner party. Rumor is he’s a great cook.

For Ridley, a case for his new iPhone so he can avoid scratching it as he dictates his next novel while on the road for his latest one.

For James G, a cushion for his writing chair. He works outside in his backyard and that chair of his doesn’t look all that comfortable.

For James O, a knitted cover for his gun.

And for our Naked readers, book covers for all!!!

Knitting. Are you man enough to try it?

k1, p1 Monday!


  1. Loved the video!

  2. Me, too!! I also loved the photo of the cowboy sitting in the saddle knitting.

  3. Fun post, Patty!

    I used to cross-stitch, but haven't for years. I keep thinking I'll start needlework of some sort again, but can't quite get around to it....

  4. What about on the airplane when you're traveling to all those exotic destinations? I hear knitting needles and such are allowed through security now.

  5. Just wondering if one of your characters might use a knitting needle as a lethal weapon...

  6. Great idea, Paulie. A #8 would do the job, methinks.

  7. can we look forward to you spinning quite a yarn in you next Tucker Sinclair offering?

    working titles: #8's a Killer.......The Woman Who Needled Too Much

    Yes, real men [ala Rosie Greer] DO knit..........but real men don't eat quiche.

    And, I guess I'm out of the loop here, but I thought A Tale of Two Cities was about a hooker in Minneapolis -St. Paul


    PS: I would VERY impressed if you knitted those horse's coats....that's awesome

  8. LOVE those titles. As usual, you are tres hilarious.

  9. LOVE those titles. As usual, you are tres hilarious.

  10. james O. Born11/09/2009 12:14 PM

    My wife knits scarves for kids we know going away to college. I hate when she has to work with the blue and orange of University of Florida.


  11. Okay, what's with the knitster standing in front of all those bewigged foam heads?

    Needle work always made me even more nervous than usual. Nothing like the thought of a dropped stitch to bring out my perfectionist anxiety!

  12. well done patty!!!

    i can't knit for the life of me, but i do sell that very same wool in my shop. there are not many people left who knit socks. fortunately though there are a couple of little old ladies who still do. with my irresistible charme and a lot of persuation i made a deal with them: for every pair they knit for me they get some wool free of charge. it works wonders and over the years at least a hundred pairs of the most colourful socks must have made their way into the lawson household. nothing else will touch our feet any more.

    it is a great skill but i really am useless at it.


  13. Patty, that (ahem!) "gun cover" for James O looks like it has an entirely different kind of gun in mind! Well, you still gotta keep it warm.

  14. James O. Born11/09/2009 3:39 PM

    I wasn't going to comment on it but I think it's for a more personal gun.


  15. Ha ha HA HA HA! I wondered when someone would mention James O's other weapon (not that I know ANY details mind you).

    Mims, I must introduce you to the Zen-like state of knitting. Perhaps when we next meet at Cafe L.

    Sybille, you've been holding out on me. You have yarn at your shop???!!! We must talk.

  16. any time, patty, i'm open all hours.

  17. ...... and i'll send you some if you knit me a pair of socks.

  18. OHMYGOSH! The pressure. Those are the first and only socks I've made. I consider them beginners luck. The next pair could be a total disaster. Would love to someday wander through your shop with cash in hand.

  19. patty, those socks are perfect, and i've seen a lot of socks in my time. so the offer stands!

    you just let me know whenever you're in the rhine-main area. i give you a guided tour through the shop. should take about 10 minutes tops.

  20. It's a deal, Sybille! Danke.